Q: Can my landlord kick me out for filing a complaint regarding my family’s safety?
We filed a complaint that snowmobiles being started in the garage below us were causing gas fumes in our home. I have a pregnant wife and three small children home all day having to breathe it. Our land lord says they should be able to use their garage how they please without worrying about gas fumes. They have now given us a 60 day notice to leave due to my complaint. Can I file a lawsuit?
A: The question is whether the landlord's use of the garage "renders the dwelling unit unfit for human habitation." If so, "then a tenant may file a complaint against the landlord in the District Court or Superior Court. The complaint shall state that:
A. A condition, which shall be described, endangers or materially impairs the health or safety of the tenants;
B. The condition was not caused by the tenant or another person acting under his control;
C. Written notice of the condition without unreasonable delay, was given to the landlord or to the person who customarily collects rent on behalf of the landlord;
D. The landlord unreasonably failed under the circumstances to take prompt, effective steps to repair or remedy the condition; and
E. The tenant was current in rental payments owing to the landlord at the time written notice was given.
The notice requirement of paragraph C may be satisfied by actual notice to the person who customarily collects rents on behalf of the landlord." 14 M.R.S. § 6021(3).
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